I work. You work. Does WE work? Hard to say

- WE offers strong growth, an asset light and disruptive concept

- But profits could take a while; ownership convoluted

- Overly complex financials, with governance, related-party red flags

The We Company (WE) recently filed an S-1 registration statement for an IPO to be priced next month. Sans  price, analyzing WE stock is like working the high wire without a net. Still, it’s going to be an interesting IPO, and here’s my take on the high and low lights of the S-1.

WE sports impressive triple-digit percentage growth but little prospect of a profit in the foreseeable future. The many risks WE faces makes me think that, at best, it will ultimately appeal to a narrow range of investors.  While it’s a disrupter, contrary to WE’s claims, it is not a tech company.

There are plenty of things to like, but there’s at least one negative for every positive. WE is a holding company for the brand We Work and a real estate company that itself doesn’t own much real estate but applies technology to the use of its leased real estate in novel ways. WE had 527,000 members at June 30, with 604,000 workstations, and an average member lease commitment that has about doubled to 15 months from 8.

 Members get m...

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